I will soon start GMing a Blades campaign. My crew decided they want to play as Hawkers but they are still undecided on what their product should be. They want to go for something not so common as drugs/alcohol. I was thinking maybe to suggest them the daemon blood (as maybe the Leviathan Hunters claims mononopoly over it). Do you have any other ideas?
I once ran a game for a crew of Hawkers who were distilling ghosts into drinkable spirits. People would get pretty intense visions when they drank it (similar to the idea of Absinthe as the Green Fairy) so they positioned themselves as a drug. Little did the customers know they were experiencing the memories of the distilled ghosts.
The crew of Hawkers I’m running a game for are about to start experimenting with creating a “occult based drug” to manufacture and sell. What that’s going to be I delightfully have no idea yet. But once I do I will share it.
My players’ crew are also Hawkers, and their main product is a new drug called Third Eye. It induces visions in its users, very often allowing them to relive cherished memories, but other times they experience visions that seem entirely new. The crew has found out this is because Third Eye is made with unrefined electroplasm, so those new experiences are the memories of ghosts.
Most of the supernatural Factions in the city have taken notice of Third Eye, from the Dimmer Sisters to the Spirit Wardens. The crew is headed for some serious trouble.
My crew sold a drug distilled from demon blood to a brothel as a stamina booster. but, it turns out it works by allowing a human to absorb some of the demon’s life energy, and so they were approached by ghosts and vampires who wanted in on the energy.
Remember that your product need not be something strictly physical. Perhaps it’s a new philosophy, art, or idea. It could be poetry or some revolutionary writing. I think one season of Friends at the Table the folks played a crew who stole and sold information.
Not saying demon/ghost/leviathan stuff ain’t cool, it’s cool as hell, but if you want something novel, there’s plenty of territory here too.
Sure that sounds like an interesting idea but I’m not sure if mechanically it will work with i.e. all of the crew upgrades etc. Of course we can just talk it through and come up with some solution that makes sense but I don’t want to overcomplicate things by going too crazy
My Hawkers started out selling mushroom wine but have since branched out into face creams and makeups. It’s going pretty well.
There was a group of smugglers that my crew did a job for, who specialized in luxury meats and dairy products grown and harvested outside of the lightning barriers, which made them highly regulated within the city.
If they’re looking for ideas… I found that the particular crew ability players take can inform the kind of product they’re interested in using. I play in a crew with the “Ghost Market” ability, and that has defined our product admirably. I can see similar happening for all but the first of them.
IE: Once they’ve chosen their ability, assuming it isn’t silver tongues, ask them what that looks like and plays out in Duskvol.
So if they want to go outside of the “drug dealers box” I suggest Land Barons. Their product is the limited amount of real estate that exists inside of the lighting barrier.
There is the option to run cons to get people to invest in construction/rehabilitation projects that will never actually happen.
There is also the straight forward options of extorting deeds, forging deeds, driving down property values, insurance fraud, manipulating construction workers, skimming off the top of ill-won construction contracts, becoming slum lords, etc.
You can even still “sell” property to ghosts as I’m sure they would love for someone to clear all the pesky humans away from around spirit wells…
I was reading the second Laundry Files novel and I’d love to crib the makeup that they were selling: it takes tiny bits of the wearer’s soul/mind and lets the hawkers see and hear through the wearer as if through a clairaudience/clairvoyance spell from DnD. The “live feeds” get piped into “data bases” (which you can roughly translate into occult printing presses) and analyzed for meaningful secrets that can be turned into blackmail. If you’ve ever looked at Horizon from Shadowrun, I can imagine them totally pulling something like this off.
Sell makeup at a material costs, or perhaps a little bit more to pay for the maintenance of the “server” “farms” and then broker the blackmail as the real product the hawkers make bank off of. Kind of taps into a more mystical bent on mercantilism. You can mine a TON of great ideas from the Laundry Files, which have similar constraint son the kinds of magic as in Blades in the Dark.